As a self-identified hot dog connoisseur it greatly pains me to know that
- Philly fans wasted perfectly good hot dogs, and
- A random ballpark frank in Philadelphia got to meet Jarred Kelenic before I did.
The Phillies 2nd Dollar Dog night is ending just like the first one but this time the dogs are on the field pic.twitter.com/jYdMUoU17f— Baseball Doesn't Exist (@BaseballDoesnt) April 26, 2023
But this isn’t a recap about my feelings about hot dogs, no, that would be too brief and honestly too sensual. This is, however, a recap about Jarred Kelenic and his teammates in their first contest of a 3-game set in Philadelphia.
Following a 9-game homestand against Colorado, Milwaukee, and St. Louis, the Mariners set their sights on a place few (Mariners) have gone before – Philadelphia. No, really, this is only their 9th game ever against the Phillies on the road.
Despite missing two cores of their lineup, Bryce Harper and Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia sent out a lineup that was going to be trouble for Seattle’s Game 1 starter, Marco Gonzales. With Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber, J.T. Realmuto and hot-hitting Edmundo Sosa still penciled in for the Phillies, Seattle’s newest Dad (well, for the second time) was going to have his work cut out for him.
Or so we thought.
Marco Gonzales retired each of his first eight before giving up a single to Cristian Pache and a walk to Bryson Scott.— Daniel Kramer (@DKramer_) April 25, 2023
But he comes back to escape the jam by inducing a big strikeout to Trea Turner, fooling him with the changeup for strike three.
When I think of Marco Gonzales I think of a crafty, but inconsistent pitcher. I think of the pitcher that was left off the playoff roster last year after proving his good stuff was good, but unreliable.
It’s a small sample, but numbers show that after one month 2023 Marco wants you to forget 2022 Marco.
Marco Gonzales this season.— Cam (@Camden_51) April 26, 2023
3.32 ERA ⬇️0.81 (4.13 in 2022)
1.25 WHIP ⬇️0.08% (1.33 in 2022)
17 Ks (22.1%) ⬆️ 9.1%
28 Cutters Thrown (11.1%) ⬇️ 2.3%
Return of the Bulldog. pic.twitter.com/4mYYnhzp0S
Tonight the former Gonzaga Bulldog faced a formidable lineup and did what he’s been known to do through the years: fight.
Despite only striking out 2 batters, Marco cut, curved, and changed it up a bit with some fastballs through 5.0 IP, only giving up 1 earned run in the process. Save for his cutter, the velo on each of his pitches were up nearly a tick and their spin rates were...spinnier, too.
All from a guy who wasn’t even supposed to pitch today.
Call it superstition or call it wanting to avoid Twitter trolls, but Mariners fans have been cautious to trust what we see in Jarred Kelenic is here to stay.
After tonight I think we can confidently say we’ve got a real wiener on our hands. This evening Jarred roasted Phillies pitchers and went 3 for 4 with a single, a double and a home run. What doesn’t show up on the score sheet, but is equally impressive, was his confidence at fielding his position. Through a few well-struck balls out to left field, it was clear that Kelenic’s demeanor on defense has shifted from feeling like the lonely, last remaining hot dog on a gas station roller to a confident, prize-winning Coney Dog.
After its debut off a Julio bomb several games ago, I’m convinced that the home run
three-pronged hot dog roaster trident has specifically requested it only be carried by two teammates: Jarred and Teoscar Hernández. Truth be told, Teo may have just been waiting until the trident’s debut to break out his power. No matter the case, me and my hot dogs are here for it.
Teoscar Hernandez hoists the trident again. He's homered in 3 of the last 4 games. Mariners lead 4-1 in the 6th.— Jen Mueller (@JenTalksSports) April 26, 2023
Also of note from this game:
- Cal Raleigh’s triple. Yes, triple. To be fair, some would argue it was a home run that bounced back onto the field. For now, it’s a triple.
- José Caballero continues to masquerade as a clubhouse veteran. Not for his numbers, per se, but mostly for the way he carries himself. He plays the game like he’s meant to be here. No deer-in-the-headlights look from this rookie.
- Bailey Falter just hit me with a pitch here in Rhode Island and home plate umpire Laz Diaz called it a strike against Seattle.
- Save for their frank flinging foolishness, Philadelphia fans are quite impressive. Tonight’s game – a Tuesday night game in April – was a sold out crowd for the Phillies. A Tuesday!